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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
 

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • Tish James presser vets

    Public Advocate Letitia James (photo via @TishJames)


    The Public Advocate’s office was created in 1993 to give a voice to everyday New Yorkers and act as checks on the authority of the Mayor and the function of city agencies. Letitia James, the fourth New York City Public Advocate, has made litigation a major tool in her attempt to fulfill the office’s mandates. James, who has a background as an attorney and has hired several lawyers to her staff since taking office in 2014, has fought the city and its agencies in the

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  • MMV presser kids BdB

    Melissa Mark-Viverito (photo: William Alatriste)


    New York City is well on its way to correcting the policies of 20 years of Republican rule, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said during an interview last week. Discussing her time as Speaker, upcoming priorities, working with Mayor Bill de Blasio, and more, Mark-Viverito spoke with Gotham Gazette at length in the Speaker’s office at City Hall.

    On a relatively quiet August Thursday, Mark-Viverito addressed a wide range of topics, from her approach to leading the Council through

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  • GEO stock


    A recent decision by the federal Department of Justice to scale back and eventually end the use of private prisons indirectly impacted New York City’s pension funds, reducing holding values by millions of dollars and leading to renewed calls from activists for the city to divest from the for-profit corporations that operate these prisons.

    Earlier this month, the Obama administration took a major step against an industry that has long been criticized for its culture of violence, secrecy, and the devaluation of human life: private

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  • Bloomberg city of innovation speech

    Above: Mayor Bloomberg speaks (Ed Reed). Below: Gibbs & Doar on panel


    Data-driven Center for Economic Opportunity paves way for workforce development vision in Career Pathways

    On July 14, former Bloomberg Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and Robert Doar, former commissioner of anti-poverty efforts, participated in a panel discussion in Washington, D.C., fielding questions

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This pre-Labor Day weekend week is looking like a fairly quiet one in New York politics, though there are a few things to watch for. Mayor Bill de Blasio is due to return Sunday evening from a vacation week traveling throughout New England with his family and could have an active week. The mayor starts the week with one public event on his schedule: he'll be in Queens Monday evening to deliver remarks at the

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  • NYPD BdB presser

    Mayor de Blasio at a press briefing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    “You’re going to hear some numbers that are striking,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio as he began an August 4 press conference on the city’s latest crime statistics. “2016 saw the fewest shootings, the fewest robberies, the fewest burglaries, the fewest

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  • Been de Blasio housing

    HPD Commissioner Been & Mayor de Blasio (photo: Demetrius Freeman, Mayor's Office)


    Commissioner Vicki Been, head of the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), is planning to return to teaching at NYU Law School, Gotham Gazette has learned.

    According to the school’s course offerings, Been will be teaching a Spring semester property law course on Monday and Wednesday mornings, 8:50-10:40 a.m., beginning in January. According to an HPD spokesperson, Been is not leaving the administration.

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  • BdB holds paper hearing

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A bureaucratic procedure gone wrong has turned out to be a major headache for Mayor Bill de Blasio that refuses to go away. Even after two recent and damning investigative reports, one city agency maintains its investigation is "ongoing" given newly turned over information and the state Attorney General is still looking into the matter.

    The lifting of deed restrictions on Rivington House, a nursing home on the Lower East Side of Manhattan,

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  • de blasio gracie mansion celebration

    Mayor de Blasio at Gracie Mansion (photo: Demetrius Freeman, Mayor's Office)


    After several months of what the mayor himself called “relentless negative headlines” around investigations into his administration and campaign fundraising, Bill de Blasio is facing low public approval ratings, strong doubts about whether he deserves to be re-elected in 2017, and a resurrection mission ahead of him.

    For the Democrat more than halfway through his third year in office, the upcoming task comes down to solidifying

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  • de blasio balcony

    Mayor Bill de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed, Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio often says he doesn’t put much stock in public opinion polls; he believes they’re about as accurate as weather predictions. When asked, he didn’t express much concern after a Quinnipiac University poll released August 1 showed that 51 percent of New York City voters don’t think he deserves to be re-elected in

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  • Success Academy Binghamton

    photo: @SuccessCharters


    Release of the most recent student test scores on state English and math exams for third- through eighth-graders set off widespread celebration in public education circles. Supporters and leaders of charter schools and traditional public schools alike have been promoting the results, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has cited test score jumps as proof that his education agenda is working.

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  • BdB Shorris NYCTransition

    Mayor de Blasio & First Deputy Mayor Shorris in 2013 (photo: @NYCTransition)


    Two recent reports on City Hall’s role in the questionable lifting of deed restrictions on a nursing home property issued scathing indictments of both process and personnel in the de Blasio administration. They revealed mismanagement and miscommunication that belies Mayor Bill de Blasio’s own attempts to portray City Hall and its agencies as well-oiled machines that deliver swift and efficient services to the people of New York.

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  • de blasio bratton o'neill nypd

    Bratton, O'Neill, de Blasio at City Hall (photo: Ben Max)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio didn’t want Bill Bratton to leave his post as NYPD Commissioner, but his departure comes with a thick silver lining. And just because de Blasio would rather Bratton stay than go doesn’t mean the mayor doesn’t see it.

    As de Blasio stood smiling and shaking the hand of soon-to-be Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill on Tuesday at City Hall, the mayor may have exhaled an inaudible sigh of relief. While we don’t yet know what kind of

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  • de blasio nypd tucker bratton oneil et al

    photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office


    Many believe that the biggest responsibility of the Mayor of New York City is to keep people safe and Bill de Blasio has largely done that, in no small part by letting his lightning-rod police commissioner, Bill Bratton, call the shots on public safety policy. The mayor has focused on pre-kindergarten and affordable housing while Bratton has governed the streets, helping bring crime down to historic lows. At the same time, Bratton has led an evolution of sorts

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  • de blasio bratton o'neill gomez nypd

    De Blasio, Bratton, O'Neill, & Gomez (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    Bill Bratton, commissioner of the New York Police Department, announced his retirement from the NYPD on Tuesday, ushering in new leadership at the department he has shaped over the course of several decades. At a City Hall press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Bratton will be replaced by Chief of Department James O’Neill, who has been a long-time member of the NYPD, rising through its ranks to now fill

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  • MMV council pre stated

    Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council members (photo: William Alatriste)


    Last year, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s office began seeking state approval for a public bail fund to keep poor low-level offenders out of jail, with Mark-Viverito citing the costs even a short jail stay can have on both lives and city funds. Now, after almost a year-and-a-half, the convoluted process of establishing the bail fund as a charity and obtaining a state license to run it appears to be nearing an end.

    Mark-Viverito touted the

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    With both the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention now over, the presidential race hits the final three-month stretch to Election Day, November 8. The first debate in scheduled for September 26. While New York was front-and-center at both conventions because the two presidential candidates call the state home, a great deal of attention will now shift to the most consequential swing states,

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  • cuomo de blasio dnc

    Cuomo, de Blasio & others at the DNC (photo via NY Democratic Party on flickr)


    “Number one, the main goal coming into this convention was to make sure we left unified,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday morning, apparently without a sense of the irony in such a statement. Cuomo, the Democratic governor of New York, continues to be locked in a feud with Bill de Blasio, the Democratic mayor of New York City, which produces a

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  • clinton rally w de blasio cuomo mark-viverito stringer

    A March Clinton rally in NYC (photo: Barbara Kinney for Hillary for America)


    New York is heavily Democratic and the state will have a major presence at this week's Democratic National Convention, not least because its delegation will be seated front and center in the Philadelphia arena because the presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, calls the Empire State home. It's a similar dynamic, at least in that last regard, to last week's Republican National Convention, where lifelong New Yorker Donald

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  • de blasio whitney

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    A company that has spent thousands of dollars lobbying City Hall, is doing business with the city, and whose founders have made large campaign contributions to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign is now also a beneficiary of the mayor’s 2017 re-election campaign.

    Campaign finance filings show that since June 2, de Blasio’s campaign has occupied a space in Downtown Manhattan run by WeWork, a company that markets affordable, professional

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  • MMV deed restriction presser

    Chin, Mark-Viverito, Brewer (l-r) at Wednesday's presser (photo: William Alatriste)


    Armed with the findings of a newly-released investigation that faults City Hall for a “lack of accountability,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Member Margaret Chin called for reform to the city’s deed restriction removal process at a press conference on Wednesday outside City Hall.

    In a show of strength and seriousness, Brewer and Chin were joined by Public Advocate Letitia James,

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  • BdB church service podium

    Mayor Bill de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton, Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and his allies set up three political nonprofits to advance his progressive agenda, two of which are being shuttered, one of which is virtually defunct, and all of which have caused the mayor headaches.

    The Campaign for One New York (originally UPK NYC) and its offshoot, United for Affordable NYC, helped accomplish key local policy goals, but, amid controversy, began the process of shutting down earlier this year. The Progressive

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  • RNC banner

    The RNC approaches (image via @GOPconvention)


    The next two weeks will see the formal nominations of the two major party candidates in the contest to succeed Barack Obama as President of The United States. First, this week, Republicans are expected to nominate Donald J. Trump, who on Saturday morning introduced Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate. On Saturday, Trump promised “we’re going to have an incredible convention.” The theme of the convention is "Make America Great Again," which has been Trump's campaign

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  • de blasio NYPD graduation 2016

    Mayor de Blasio speaks at NYPD graduation (Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Last month, contract negotiations between City Hall and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the union that represents the city’s rank-and-file police officers, again reached a standstill.

    On June 28, the PBA filed a Declaration of Impasse with the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) asking it to appoint a mediator in the negotiations over a contract that goes back to 2012. The union, which

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  • de blasio cuomo january 2014

    De Blasio & Cuomo in 2014 (photo: Rob Bennett, Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly voiced his frustration with his fellow Democrat, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who he says has worked with Senate Republicans in the state Legislature to stymie his agenda and major progressive legislation. In an interview with Harry Siegel of the Daily News late last month, the mayor said Cuomo could have “done a lot more to

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